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I do not think these allusions to magic in the title of this blog are merely 'symbolic'.
I think we are meant to see them an allusion to illusion.
We know that the source was protected from people finding it somehow. We know that the lighthouse had been there all along. What if, as in the title of another blog we all read recently, that these things were "hidden in plain sight", and that people could not see these things because their minds were not attuned to see them.
This has been hypothesised about in the real world:
In the film, during a discussion of the influence of experience on perception, Candace Pert notes a story, which she says she believes is true, of Native Americans being unable to see Columbus's ships because they were outside their experience.
If this is what Lost is about, expanding your consciousness in order that you can see stuff that you couldn't see or understand in your unappreciative state, then this can offer explanations for a whole heap of things. The film I quoted above explores the idea that in order for stuff to exist, we need to interact with it, and the act of observing causes it to come into existence.
What if, none of the stuff we have seen actually exists in the way that we thought it did? There never was a Swan Station, for example: the Swan was the source, and the Losties thought they were at a station pressing a button, but all the time they were sitting in the jungle imagining they were pressing a button. This was the way they interpreted the source. We can interpret this as Jacob giving them illusions to distract them from finding the source, or the source's natural protection, that it is not understandable by people who are not ready, or that it is just so alien, that in order to appreciate it, your mind invents scenarios that you are familiar with in order to allow you to understand this.
On the island, it could be that nothing is as it seemed; what the Losties saw was only what their minds could allow them to understand. Now, this dispenses with all the mysteries at a stroke:
- Why did MiB turn into Smoke? - He didn't. The Black Smoke is the 'sense' that the mind made of what actually happened.
- What was with all the button-pressing? - There wasn't any, it was all a situation made up by the Losties' minds to try to understand the source, which they could not comprehend.
- What's with the FST? - This is a world their minds created to try to understand the reality of what is actually going on, and Desmond is trying to 'lift the veil'.